Operating on 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy by 2030.
24/7 Carbon-Free Energy1: Every hour. Every day. Everywhere.
Our mission is to organize the world’s information. Every Google search requires a tiny amount of energy used by the servers in our data centers. With millions of searches per minute and trillions per year, these tiny amounts add up. Our mission won’t change, but we recognized early on that the energy we use to deliver our services must evolve.
Why is energy important to Google? Reliable electricity supply for our data centers enables us to deliver search results, emails, Google Maps directions, YouTube video plays, Cloud Platform services, and much more. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with our electricity consumption have historically comprised a significant share of our carbon footprint, and reducing these operational emissions is a critical part of our journey to net-zero emission2.
We've been working hard to address our carbon footprint and continue to expand our efforts, including making Google data centers some of the most energy efficient in the world. Since 2017, we’ve matched 100% of the electricity consumption of our global operations with purchases of renewable energy, on an annual basis. But we're not stopping there.
Our 100% renewable energy match was a major achievement, but the urgency of the climate challenge demands an even bigger and bolder vision. That’s why in 2020 we announced a first-of-its-kind target to achieve 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy by 20301. This means that we aim to procure clean energy, such as solar and wind, to meet our electricity needs, every hour of every day, within every grid where we operate. Achieving 24/7 carbon-free energy will not only ensure that our operations are supported by carbon-free energy around the clock - it will also increase the impact of our clean energy procurement on the decarbonization of the grids that serve us.3
Our 24/7 carbon-free energy efforts are designed to maximize our contribution to the decarbonization of power grids worldwide. In 2021 we launched the United Nations 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact - a global community dedicated to building the technologies, policies, tools, ideas, and advocacy needed to accelerate the decarbonization of electricity grids - with Sustainable Energy for All and other partners. In Europe, we work with the European 24/7 CFE Hub, a collaboration with Eurelectric to create a platform where energy buyers, suppliers, and policy makers can meet to learn more about 24/7 CFE and receive technical training and implementation guidance.
Accelerating the transition to carbon-free energy
24/7 carbon-free energy is a complex and challenging goal. But we see our efforts as part of a bigger picture, and we’ve set these ambitious goals to help scale new, global solutions.
Our 24/7 carbon-free energy strategy is focused on driving progress across three focus areas: purchasing carbon-free energy, such as wind and solar, accelerating new and improved technologies, and transforming the energy system through partnerships and advocacy.
To make 24/7 clean energy a reality for us, we are working to revolutionize clean energy for everyone. How? We have signed agreements that are estimated to be billions in spend for clean energy, and created new tools and approaches to procure it around the clock. We work with partners to help demonstrate and commercialize new technologies, from on-site batteries at our data centers to advanced geothermal power plants. We develop and advocate for policies to clean the electricity grid. We continuously apply our own software and machine learning to optimize clean energy production and consumption. Across all of these activities, we share the lessons we are learning and the models we are developing so that others can join us on the journey to 24/7 carbon-free energy.
What this means for you
Reaching our goal of 24/7 carbon-free energy will mean that every time you search, email, upload photos, or watch videos, you can be confident that it is supported by clean energy. Our clean energy projects help run our Google apps and services, and at the same time bring new investment to local economies, creating jobs and a cleaner electricity grid of all. Learn about how we are reducing our data center carbon footprint by shifting demand to when the grid is cleaner.
White Paper: Moving toward 24x7 Carbon-Free Energy - Progress and Insights
White Paper: Moving toward 24x7 Carbon-Free Energy - Progress and InsightsRead story (opens in a new window)